The consumption of meat is associated with masculinity and virility. However, overindulging in red meat is associated with elevated blood cholesterol. But some choices of meats are better than others. One of the best choices for men might surprise you. It’s bison, a nutritious red meat also marketed as American buffalo. The health benefits of bison meat make it a great choice for men who want the satisfying flavor of red meat without negative impacts.
That’s why we’re recommending eating bison meat not only as an alternative to other, more popular red meats but we’ve even named it to our list of the 10 best foods for men’s sexual health.
Why bison is one of the best foods for men’s sexual health
The first reason we put this red meat into our list of foods for men is that it delivers a high dose of protein. So if you’re wondering, “Is bison meat healthy?,” here’s the first thing you need to know: Men, particularly active men, need a significantly higher intake of protein than women to sustain energy and overall health. But men also need that protein intake to ensure testosterone production.
Is red meat good for you?
And although you can get plenty of protein from plant-based sources, this red meat offers a significant amount of protein compared with calories and fat. It is one of the red meat benefits that can’t be overlooked.
Which meats are considered red meat?
There is some confusion as to what is red meat vs white meat. Dietary guidelines generally refer to white meat as poultry and fish. This means four-legged land animals, including beef, lamb and pork are red meat. However, some food studies include pork in the white meat category. That being said, the United States Department of Agriculture, (USDA), maintains that pork is red meat based on the amount of myoglobin in the flesh.
In addition, and this part makes it even more confusing, the USDA classifies the meat of flightless birds like emu and ostrich as red meat because the ph in their flesh is similar to that of beef. So not all poultry is white meat.
While not everyone may agree on what meat is considered red meat, there is a general consensus that eating some red meat can be good for you. And some red meat choices are better than others. Because bison most closely resembles beef, we’re drawing the comparison to help illustrate why bison is our favorite red meat choice, particularly when it comes to men’s health.
Bison meat nutrition facts
This meat is considered a quality protein source. In fact, a 3.5 serving of bison contains about 28 grams of protein. (That’s more than almost any other red meat.)
Bison is high in vitamin B12. In fact, a single serving contains 2.86 mcg. That’s even more than the recommended daily intake in a single food. Bison is also a noted source of iron, phosphorous, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids and niacin. Here’s the breakdown of the nutrition in a 3.5-oz bison sirloin steak, according to the USDA.
You may have heard that omega-3 fatty acids are good for heart health. They are not only linked with the reduction of inflammation but we now also understand that they can improve cognitive function. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids are linked with mood and can improve mood and may even reduce the risk of depression. Bison is rich source of these healthy fats which play such an important role in heart and brain health.
But this isn’t the only important fat in bison’s nutritional profile. The meat is also a source of conjugated linoleic acids (CLAs). The highest concentrations of CLAs is found in the meat of grass-fed animals, like grass-fed beef or bison. CLAs are linked with weight loss and are recognized for helping to reduce belly fat. They may also play a role in increasing muscle mass. Research on CLAs is somewhat conflicting and this shouldn’t be a primary reason to eat bison but it may add a positive side effect.
Bison vs beef
A four-ounce bison steak has about the same amount of protein as the same size portion of beef but with 1/3 fewer calories and half the fat of beef. So as far as meats go, bison is a good choice for getting men the protein they need for performance and sexual health.
As we alluded to in the introduction, cholesterol can be a significant threat to men’s sexual health. An interesting bison fact, according to The Bison Council, this meat not only has less saturated fat than beef, it has less than pork or chicken.
Why bison may be the healthiest red meat
One of the lowest fat, lowest calorie sources of animal protein, American buffalo meat promotes both dopamine and norepinephrine production, which not only aid in boosting mood but also enhances sex drive, sexual desire and the sexual experience.
Is bison better than beef for the environment?
There’s a lot of discussion these days about reducing red meat intake as an environmental effort. But is this still true if you’re choosing this beef alternative? Technically, raising this game has many of the same negative environmental impacts as raising cattle.
However, an in-depth investigation into the environmental issue in Modern Farmer concludes that, because modern American buffalo ranching is less impactful than modern cattle ranching practices, you are reducing your environmental impact by choosing bison meats over beef. And since the cost per pound of this game meat is significantly higher than the price of beef, you’re likely to consume less, further improving the environmental impact of eating red meat.
One small drawback is that buffalo, and most varieties of game meats, can be a little tricky to cook because of their low-fat content. The meat easily dries out and can become tough if you’re not careful.
Beginners may want to start cooking bison with ground meat to make bison burgers or meatballs. (We’ve linked to my bison burger recipe below.)
But once you’ve mastered cooking with this lean, game meat, you’ll be grilling bison steaks and maybe even fajitas or bison steak sandwiches. And once you understand how to work with game meats, you can use bison as a substitute in most beef recipes.
Where to buy bison
You may find bison at your local grocery store. (Mine sells ground bison but not bison filets.)
If you google it, you’ll find a number of American ranchers selling grass-fed, natural bison direct to consumers. One brand that offers mail orders is Northstar Bison. You can also try an online gourmet foods retailer like D’Artagnan. Or simply shop the great bison selection on Amazon.com.
Some of our favorite bison recipes:
10 Best Foods For Men
Edited by Delahna Flagg: This article was reviewed and additional research provided by Center for Mind-Body Medicine certified practitioner and Eat Something Sexy Nutrition Director Delahna Flagg.
Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided in this article is intended for informational purposes only. It is important to consult your physician before making dietary changes.
This article was written in 2014 and most recently updated in November, 2023.
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